Maurices donating downtown Duluth building to UMD

By KBJR News 1

February 11, 2014 Updated Feb 11, 2014 at 7:56 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Maurice's move in downtown Duluth is UMD's gain.

UM – Duluth will soon find a new home in the heart of the city's downtown, as part of a donation from Maurices.

The retailer announced Tuesday they're donating one of three Superior Street locations to the university, as they plan their move into a new headquarters three blocks down.

The decision to donate the first of three soon–to–be vacant Maurice's locations along downtown Duluth's 100 block of Superior Street to UM – Duluth came after the retailer reviewed the university's plans to bring educational services to the downtown area.

"They've got great plans. They put a white paper together showing what the plans [are] going to be," said Maurices President George Goldfarb at Tuesday's announcement. "Bringing education and business together has been a vision of ours for a long time."

Maurice's President George Goldfarb says the retailer's connection to Northland colleges is immediate. College students make up a big part of his employee base.

"When you look at the opportunity to provide them greater education, it's just outstanding," said Goldfarb.

The four–story, 75,000 square foot building houses a fitness center, auditorium, and skywalk–accessible conference rooms.

UMD Chancellor Lendley Black says the recently renovated layout is ideal for their plans to teach courses geared toward interacting with the downtown business community.

"You'll see a variety of things. You'll see continuing education classes for people who want to get certificates in various programs," said Dr. Black after Tuesday's announcement. "You'll see academic courses, and perhaps even full degree programs that we are still working on... educational opportunities for people who live downtown and maybe want to take a class after work."

UMD plans to move into the new location once Maurice's has made the move to its new HQ along the 400 block of West Superior Street.
The $70 million dollar project will be eleven stories high, and will include a fitness center, and outdoor plaza.

"You're coming in off the interstate, you're going to see it. It's going to have such impact—such a great gateway into Downtown Duluth," said Goldfarb.

Upon its anticipated December 2015 completion date, the city says it will be the largest downtown commercial development to date.

Maurice's plans to list its other two locations along West Superior Street in the near future.

Posted to the web by Billy Wagness